Is Fatima the Only Way Out of This Corona Crisis?
Death. That is all the news media presents these days. Deaths in the last few months, the death toll today, and future death tolls in the second virus wave that will make short work of those who have survived the first wave. How disgusting! You would think there is nothing else going on in the world besides the coronavirus death toll, certainly nothing good is happening – or more correctly, is being reported.
I am getting away from watching TV (except for TV Mass and a lot of you know how I feel about that!) filled with nonsense reality shows, simulated sports games, and our preening governor telling us we are all in this together. Watching TV news inspires anger. The funding stimulus, which sidetracked money for “needed” things like the Kennedy Center for the Arts, showed how opportunistic our public “servants” really are – as opportunistic as the killer virus itself. It makes a person want to yell at the TV.
“How will she explain that when she dies and is before God,” my husband said heatedly over the news of recent actions by a woman politician with a predilection for pro-abortion legislation.
“She can’t,” I told him. “You don’t get to talk. When you die, it’s over. You are judged.”
He seemed surprised at my harshness. Death isn’t a courtroom, there is no time for defense. I am not a theologian but it seems to me if God knows us before we are first formed, He surely knows us throughout our lives, to the end: our actions, our decisions, our rationalizations and any true ignorance. It’s all there.
Maybe He will explain the why of the judgment. Maybe He will say, “You sinned enough to go to Hades, but someone prayed (a Rosary) for you. So your toes will get tickled by the fires of Hell but in the end you will be saved.” But He doesn’t have to explain anything. We will see Him and He will see (through) us. Those who deny His existence and those who mock Him and gravely sin against Him will see Him as well. Nothing can be said.
May, the Rosary, and the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima
I think of these things in this month of May because of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13. The Mother of God deigned to step into our world to warn us of the wages of sin and ask for repentance. And while the Holy Father entreats our Blessed Lady on our behalf to save us from the scourge of this pandemic – as a child would rightly ask a mother for help – I hearken back to the message over 100 years ago and wonder if the Rosary and repentance comprise the vaccine we really need today.
The situation was dire those early years of the century. By 1914, the world was at war, countries invaded, soldiers dying. In 1916, an angel appeared to 3 illiterate shepherd children, Lucia, age 9, Francisco, age 8, and Jacinta, age 6. Why them? Perhaps their minds were uncluttered, simple, their faith, pure. There was Holy Mass and the beads and their families in their lives.
“Pray! Pray a great deal!” he told them. “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually to the Most High.” Lucia didn’t even know how to offer sacrifices, Francisco didn’t know who the Most High was.The Sun Danced at Fatima, Joseph A. Pelletier, Image Books, NY, 1983, p. 20
“Make a sacrifice of everything that you can, and offer it to the Lord as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners. In this way draw peace upon our country. I am its guardian angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering that the Lord will send you.”Id.
On his third visit, the Angel brought them Communion. Lucia received the Host, Francisco and Jacinta the Precious Blood.
“Take and drink the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their sins and console your God”.(p. 22)
In her Memoirs, Lucia described a feeling of “annihilation” in God which the children experienced after this event (p. 210).
Some months later, while tending sheep, the little shepherds saw lightning and began to hurry the sheep towards home. Partway there they saw a young, beautiful lady clothed in white light before them. She told them she was from Heaven and since she seemed friendly enough, so Lucia began to ask questions, first among them whether she and her companions would go to Heaven, and about the fate of other acquaintances. Then the Lady asked:
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the suffering He wishes to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”.(p. 28-29)
“Yes, we are willing.”
“Say the beads each day, to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war”.(p. 29)
Six apparitions in six months, with the same message of praying the Rosary, repentance, sacrifice. At the third apparition, in July, the Lady said,
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and repeat often, especially whenever you make a sacrifice for them: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.(p. 61)
And then she showed them hell.
They observe an immense sea of fire which appears to be under the earth. Immersed in the fire are the devils or fallen angels and the souls of damned human beings. The two categories of individuals are easily distinguishable. The souls have a human form whereas the demons appear in the terrifying and loathsome forms of horrible, unknown animals. But both the devils and the souls are transparent and black or bronze-colored, like live embers. Floating and tossed about in the conflagration by the flames which issue from them with clouds of smoke, they fall about on all sides without weight or balance, as sparks do in a great fire. All the while they emit shrieks and groans of pain and despair which horrify the children and cause them to tremble with fear.
It is fortunate that this vision lasts but a moment and that the Lady has prepared the children for it by her promise to take them to Heaven, for otherwise, Lucia believes they would have died of fright.(p. 61-62)
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I shall tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”
And again, on October 13, after identifying herself as the Lady of the Rosary, she warns,
“People must not offend Our Lard anymore, for He is already greatly offended” .(p.121)
The children continued their sacrifices and prayers. They gave their lunches away, they would not drink water, they took every opportunity to deny themselves and so save souls. They even bound rope around their waists to offer this suffering up to Jesus and Mary.
A year later, in 1918, Francisco and Jacinta contracted the Spanish influenza. Both suffered prolonged illness from pneumonia, during which Our Lady appeared to them to tell them she would come for them soon. And she asked Jacinta if she wished to convert more sinners. As Jacinta told Lucia later, “It is to suffer more for the love of Our Lord and for sinners” (p. 134). Francisco died on April 4, 1919, at age 10.
Jacinta, a true victim soul, suffered much: pneumonia, pleurisy, infected ribs, surgery without anesthetic, tuberculosis. But Our Lady appeared to her frequently. On February 20, 1920, without any family nearby and without even the consolation of Holy Viaticum (because the priest didn’t think she was near death) Jacinta, age 9, went with the Blessed Lady to Heaven. The children were canonized in 2017, the youngest non-martyred saints. Lucia dos Santos had been told by Mary she needed to stay behind, with the mission of spreading devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and promoting the consecration of Russia. These things she did tirelessly. She died February 13, 2005 and was declared a Servant of God in 2017, the first step towards canonization.
Prayer, Sacrifice, the Rosary. Where have they gone? Does this call belong to an age gone by, to only a select few? Or is it a universal vocation cast aside by the snares of the devil in our secular world? Why don’t we hear more of it? Have those children in the hodge podge of classes called religious education ever heard of it? I wonder. My granddaughter who is to be confirmed had hardly heard of Pope St. John Paul so why would Fatima be on the class agenda? But even more important is the question of why haven’t we been urged, in this present crisis, to embrace Fatima and the Rosary?
While at an orphanage before surgery, Jacinta told the superior that Our Lady continued to visit her.
“Our Lady said that there were many wars and much strife in the world. The sins of the world are very great. Our Lady can no longer restrain the arm of her beloved Son over the world. It is necessary to do penance. If people amend their lives, Our Lord will still help the world, but if they do not, the chastisement will follow. If people do not correct their lives, Our Lord will chastise the world as never before, and Spain will be punished first”(p.138).
Perhaps, then, this pandemic before us is not only in the physical realm but also in the spiritual, much as the serpent tempted Eve through physical means to achieve a deadly spiritual victory. Look what Satan has achieved so far, in many states, our churches are closed by the government, the Holy Eucharist is unavailable to sustain us. And as for the death toll, how many souls came to divine justice in sudden and unprovided death during these last few months? How many souls among the covid sufferers had abandoned faith and had no chance to amend? How many souls still face this danger…unless we pray for them and for ourselves for the mercy of God?
This article, Is Fatima the Only Way Out of This Corona Crisis? is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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